In 2013, after buying a working ZX Spectrum and successfully repairing another one, I decided it was time to commit myself to the preservation and study of the machine that was responsible for my academic and professional decision - I studied Computer Science, an area on which I work professionally since 2000.
I was born in 78, so even though all the computers depicted here were created after that, I was only 4 when the ZX Spectrum was launched. I don’t remember the year I got my first Spectrum but I know I was very young. I was lucky to have an uncle – Carlos Oliveira – who is a passionate electronics hobbist and so I was incentivized by him to play and learn with this new object called the ZX Spectrum that was reaching Portugal in my childhood. Because of him (and other family members), I was able to get a ZX Spectrum and many, many peripherals that I preserved and would become the basis of this collection being presented.
Moving forward to the recent years, in 2009/2010 I gave an interview to a Portuguese newspaper and I said I was from the "Spectrum Generation", i.e., one of the lucky ones that had a ZX Spectrum on my childhood and learned how to program BASIC on such machine. Years later I went to the Portuguese Informatics Olympics final with what I had learned all by myself, reading books, experimenting, etc...
At this stage in my life (in 2013), I saw no reason why I couldn't become one of the biggest collectors of such machines and so - as in everything that I do - I started working for that purpose.
Being Portuguese, there is even a bigger interest as part of what happened in the eighties also occurred from Portugal due to the presence of the TIMEX Corporation in Lisbon area. Timex played a very significant role to what happened in places such as USA, Portugal, Poland, Argentina, etc... We Portuguese people tend to look a lot to our past, so perhaps this is just another example of when we achieved great things. I believe this should not be forgotten as it helps to think big and globally.
What drives me is the preservation of these machines... It’s the opportunity to study and document my findings for others that may be interested in these matters.
A collection is something that may never end and I believe it is strategic to focus to accomplish some intermediate objectives which justifies our time and incentivizes us to continue.
My main objectives are to:
- get all the relevant computers and peripherals from the Sinclair brand
- get any relevant objects from the Sinclair brand past and future (before and after the Spectrum).
- get all the relevant computers and peripherals from the Timex (Timex-Sinclair and Timex Computer) brand which covers USA, Portugal and even Poland (under the Unipolbrit brand)
- get all the relevant computers from Investrónica (the Spanish distributor), as Spain also was an important country to this technological revolution.
- get any other relevant European variants (eg. French computers)
- as Brazil is considered a brother Country to Portugal, I wish to collect and study at least the most relevant computers from there
- as the first Argentinian Spectrum clones seems to have originated in Portugal (Timex), I wish to collect the most relevant computers from there.
As I write this in 2016, most of it is already achieved. Nowadays I am trying to get all the different boards (internals) used in the computers. Nevertheless, in the last 3 years, apart from adding things like Spain and Brazil, I can't say that I have changed much my aim, which I see as a good thing.
What I do know that I do not want to collect all the Soviet and Eastern Europe Spectrum clones... I have good friends doing that, but I don't feel the motivation to do it and that would jeopardize my focus.
I also do not want to evolve to collect other 8-bit consoles or computers - again, I have other good friends doing that and they can do it much better than myself.
I want to be one of the top Spectrum-related collectors worlwide and that is more than enough to me.
Hope you like the work presented here. Please get in touch and share your ideas, doubts, findings, etc... That's the purpose of sharing this information.
PS1 - Feel free to share any pictures or to refer the information anywhere, just be sure to state clearly this webpage.
PS2 - I participate ocasionaly in exhibitions with the collection so, if you think you have the right conditions to reach a significant population, get in touch and we can discuss it.